FTC to “reinvent” journalism

June 2, 2010 18:27

If the FCC can’t get a media take over done maybe the FTC can do it.

by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air

The nation needs a strong, independent press, the FTC argues, and so they want to find ways for government to “reinvent” journalism.  If that sounds vaguely Orwellian to you, the actual language in the Federal Trade Commission’s discussion-points memo should have hairs standing on the backs of necks across the nation.  It shows a wildly laughable rationale for government intervention that would prop up the failing newspaper model in a manner that would put the entire industry at the mercy of the federal bureaucracy it’s supposed to keep in check.

The paper notes “experimentation” of media outlets on the Internet, a rather strange term considering that most media outlets have used the Internet for years.  Major newspapers have been on line for well over a decade.  After framing that as “experimentation,” the FTC then argues that it won’t work.  Not only that, it then offers a very strange definition of “subsidy” in order to provide cover for a government intervention:

There are reasons for concern that experimentation may not produce a robust and sustainable business model for commercial journalism. History in the United States shows that readers of the news have never paid anywhere close to the full cost of providing the news. Rather, journalism always has been subsidized to a large extent by, for example, the federal government, political parties, or advertising.



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